What Are the Different Types of American Barbeque?


In the United States, barbecue refers to a technique of cooking over a fire, which adds a distinctive smoky taste to the meat. There are 3 primary ingredients: meat, wood smoke, sauce or seasoning.

Aficionados throughout the country take their barbecue seriously. They'll argue the merits of pork vs. beef; dry rub vs. sauce, vinegar-based vs. sweet-tangy, and the merits of Hickory vs. Oak vs. Apple vs. Pecan wood for smoke.
To keep it simple, let's look at a few of the most well-known:


Pork is the preferred meat for Memphis barbecue. Ribs are ordered “Wet” (slathered with tomato-vinegar-based sauce after smoking using hickory wood) or “Dry” (dry rubbed with seasonings and smoked, no sauce).


Although there are plenty of sub-styles and regional variations in this big state, Texas is cattle country, so barbecue generally means beef cooked over oak or mesquite with a slightly sweet, spicy tomato-based sauce. Sliced beef brisket is a perennial favorite. 

Kansas City

Because of its central location, Kansas City barbecue has been influenced by all of the other regions. KC BBQ uses beef, pork, and chicken. Pork ribs and beef brisket are favored. They're cooked over different types of wood and usually slathered with a sweeter tomato-based sauce with molasses. 


In North and South Carolina, pork is cooked over hickory and oak with regional preferences for the sauce, which can be tomato-based, vinegar-based, or mustard-based. Pulled pork is a favorite choice for barbecue lovers in this part of the country.
There are dozens of variations of barbecue throughout the country, but most are combinations or variants of the ones discussed here.

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